VINTERRIKET – I do not make music for people

VINTERRIKET – I do not make music for people

Vinterriket is a name I've come across many times through the years, but never actually listened to before the promo of the «Zeit-los:Laut-los» arrived. The album Zeit-los:Laut-los was out on the market in September 2008 and figured it was something to research with my new born  curiosity…This is the interview I did with the man himself, cz in march 2009. Hope everyone would check out the music, which I found interesting and relaxing, and perfect combined with reading and studying. Enjoy!

Hi there cz. Can you tell me what is going on around with Vinterriket just now? There is a new album coming right about now in April if I'm not mistaken?

Hi Asgeir. You are right a new album is coming in April/May 2009. The record is entitled "Horizontmelancholie". The style of the new album is different compared to previous releases. The new album contains a lot of acoustic guitars and has a kind of "Neofolk"-touch. It was mastered by Axel Frank at the Blue Lounge Studios / Berlin / Germany in the end of 2008. The whole album will also be released as a DVD (DVD-PLUS format, i.e. music CD on one side of the disc, DVD on the other side). The first 150 copies will be released in a luxurious wooden box. The development towards the new style was quite natural and without any pressure. I always do whatever I just feel. The main concept is still to transform the dark side of nature into music. This could be done by pure Dark Ambient but also by any other style… as long as certain parameters are fulfilled. Originality, individuality and progression are quite important. The new album is different, but this does not mean that future releases will also be in that style. Let's see what the future brings. However, the music will still be cold, melancholic, dark, atmospheric and majestic. As long as those parameters are fulfilled, there are no borders when it comes to music. I create music only for myself. If others like it, ok. If not, I do not care at all. I just do whatever I like. It is always dependent on my current mood. Almost all the pictures which were used for the layout of the new album were taken in northern Scandinavia. Some were done here in Switzerland. The same goes for the video material on the DVD. The main inspiration for the CD came from the endless and desolate landscapes in the north („Durch die Weiten der Landschaft"/ „Herbstreich"/ „Wogen des Firmamentes") but also from the majestic and cold world of mountains here in Switzerland („Bergtal"). "Irrlichterscheinung" is inspired by mysterious moors whereas "Schattengeräusche" and "Waldkult" deals with endless and dark woods, my beloved theme. The whole album is very diverse and interesting, I would say.

What does Zeit-los:Laut-los translate to?

"Zeit-los:Laut-los" means "time-less:-noise-less". It is actually not an official album. It is the music of the DVD "Kontemplative Antagonismen des Augenblicks" on CD – re-mastered at Strype Audio / Oslo / Norway. It is basically one long track of 40 minutes: Pure darkness, desolation, emptiness and solitude. It is the night turned into tones, the pure dark side of nature transformed into eerie music landscapes. The title fits the whole music quite perfectly… the whole track is very calm and "dreamy".

How do you work? The album Winterchatten is combined Dark Ambient and Black Metal. Zeit:los-Laut:los is a «purified» and calmer Vinterriket, which is more pleasant. Is this a thing you decide before you start recording or is it a normal reaction that just happens in some way?

I basically just follow my instinct and the current mood. Sometimes I feel doing more calm sounds, sometimes I feel doing more aggressive music. As mentioned earlier, certain parameters need to be fulfilled: Originality, individuality and progression are quite important. Future CDs might sound different again. However, all the music deals with the dark side of nature.

This is a more boring and maybe private matter, but I'm still curious on equipment that is used; any special preferences on live or studio equipment?

I use a lot of instruments… hardware and software synthesizers, acoustic and electric guitars. All the music I created was recorded in my own studio using several different instruments. I do not want to go into details,…

You have been active since 1996 now, 13 years. Do you feel you have accomplished something special for the Dark Ambient scene through these years?

Yes, Vinterriket was born back in late 1996. A lot of releases were released during the years. I do not know whether I have accomplished something in the Dark Ambient scene or not. I actually do not care. I just create the music for myself. If others like it, I am honored, if not, I basically do not care at all. I do not make music for people or for the "scene"….


You also play for many different other bands/projects like Nebelkorona, Nocternity, Atomtrakt and Graven. Do you perform live with all of these projects? Is Vinterriket a live project which is touring or doing some shows in 2009?

No, I do not perform live. I never performed live with Vinterriket, Nebelkorona and Atomtrakt. There was a time when I had plans to perform live but I never did it. The music should be listened to alone, in a dark room. It is actually not made to be performed in crappy concert halls in front of drunken people. I played live once with Graven…. This was almost 10 years ago. As you might know, I am no longer part of Graven since several years now. In case I decide to play live in the future, it would be something very special, like e.g. high up in the mountains in front of a few people or somewhere in the dark woods. I do not know… Music is art… a painter or a poet usually performs his art once, the same should be valid for music. I record it once and then it is done. I rather spend my time creating new stuff instead of rehearsing songs for a live performance. Rehearsing is a pure waste of time. I get a lot of offers to play live from all over the world but I always refused…

You also did a split with the project Northaunt some years back, which is a local project from Trondheim. Are there any good words or good laughts in between here?

I did two split 7" EPs and a split CD with Northaunt. It is a great Dark Ambient project and I still like the tracks on the split releases (also the other records Northaunt released). Maybe another split release will follow in the future… I do not know.

Any last remarks or words for curious minds or fans?

The new album will be out in late April / early May 2009.